Looking for Great Adaptations

Photo from vitalthrills.com

If John Green adaptations were rain, The Fault in Our Stars would be drizzle and Looking for Alaska would be a hurricane. 

On Oct. 18, Hulu released Looking for Alaska, an eight-episode miniseries diving back into the world of John Green’s beloved novel. Almost 15 years later, the series writer, Josh Schwartz, along with the cast and crew have brought to life the story of Looking for Alaska after the book’s original release in 2005.

The miniseries, which has now been labeled as a period piece, has had its fair share of being placed on the back burner. Unlike other John Green adaptations such as The Fault in Our Stars, which became one of the most talked about movies of 2014 after hitting the big screen just two years after the book was published, Looking for Alaska remained in development for years as adaptations of the novel constantly fell through. The adaptation seemed impossible until May of 2018 when John Green announced that Looking for Alaska was finally going to come alive after all these years. 

Photo posted by @charliefplummer on Instagram

Looking for Alaska centers on Miles “Pudge” Halter, played by Charlie Plummer, who has a love for famous last words as he decides to enroll at Culver Creek Academy, a boarding school in Alabama, to gain a better understanding of life and to seek his “Great Perhaps.” There, “Pudge”  befriends his roommate, Chip “The Colonel” Martin as well as Takumi, Lara and the infamous Alaska Young, played by Kristine Froseth. From adventures and pranks against the Weekday Warriors, to falling in love, to dealing with a tragedy, Pudge is opened up to a whole new world of what it means to be alive. 

Photo posted by @alaskaonhulu on Instagram

While the adaptation closely resembles the novel, down from the pay phones, puka shell necklaces and music from 2005, the miniseries tackled new ideas such as switching the focus off of the main character, Pudge. 

While the novel, Looking for Alaska, is told through the narration of Pudge, the miniseries is able to showcase the story through everyone’s perspective. Through this subtle shift, characters such as “The Colonel,” who talks about racial injustices in Culver Creek and within his own relationship, and Alaska, who struggles with the death of her mother and her own “labyrinth of suffering,” are transformed into more three-dimensional characters. 

Even supporting characters such as Professor Hyde, Pudge and Alaska’s beloved teacher, “The Eagle,” Culver Creek’s school administrator and Sara, The Colonel’s girlfriend, are showcased into more three-dimensional characters with humility, backstories and complex emotions. 

While the miniseries hasn’t received the traction or the fan frenzy that The Fault in Our Stars had, fans of the Looking for Alaska novel have nothing but praise for the adaptation. From the casting, to the music, to the fan favorite quotes, fans of Looking for Alaska took to Twitter to express their excitement for the miniseries. 

Have you binged Looking for Alaska on Hulu? Tweet us your opinions at @VALLEYMag!


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